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Hitbox and Azubu merge and relaunch as Smashcast, aim to compete with Twitch

Live streaming websites Hitbox and Azubu merged to become Smashcast, the organization announced Thursday.

Smashcast claims to be the largest independent esports broadcaster outside of Asia and will aim to be a competitor of streaming giant Twitch, according to a news release. All former traffic from Hitbox’s and Azubu’s websites will be forwarded to Smashcast’s website effective immediately.

Smashcast announced a new feature called the Hype-O-meter, a feature designed to create viewer engagement and encourage viewers to cheer for their team of choice during a broadcast. The organization also announced a content production studio in Vienna, Austria, which is intended to be a unique feature among other streaming platforms.

“The new Vienna production facility is a key next step for us in ensuring the quality of support we provide our broadcasting and publishing partners,” Martin Klimscha, European Managing Director of Smashcast, said in the release. “We wanted specifically to ensure that we are differentiated from our competitors not only from our platform and technology excellence, which includes full 4K and 360 VR support, but from the quality of streaming content as well.”

Smashcast also plans to use various venues of monetization through affiliate marketing, interactive sponsor-based advertising, virtual goods sales, sponsorships and in-game betting, and lessening the reliance purely on advertisements and subscriptions.

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